Final leg showdown

Nigel King updates us on his progress in the Solitaire du Figaro
Nigel King is currently 37th overall in the Solitaire du Figaro, in a field of 52 and while this might not sound like he is setting the world alight, his deficit on race leader Nicolas Lunven is just three hours while gaining just an hour on the competition will pull him up to 25th and two hours would launch him into 16th. If nothing else this indicates to the average Joe that the Figaro class may be weird and French and singlehanded, but it has probably the most competitive racing in the offshore calendar. Michel Desjoyeaux, who has won the event three times is on this occasion lying eighth overall, while just ahead of King in 34th is the extremely talented Franco-German Mini sailor, Isabelle Joschke, while King is one place ahead of Christophe Espagnon, who represented France in Beijing last year aboard a Tornado. “It has been a tough old race,” commented King before leaving Dingle at the weekend. “The standard this year is phenomenal. There are 20 guys who are up there and 10-15 who could win the event. So it has been probably as tough as expected as sure.” Over the weekend the Figaro dock in Dingle, southwest Ireland, was surprisingly busy with members of the public coming down to see the boats, no doubt partly spurred on by the upsurge in sailing interest there following the recent Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway and the part their own sailing royalty, Damian Foxall, played in the class when he competed in ita decade ago. The complaint in the class is that the stopover was a day too short. Between the Figarists the talk in Dingle was of the extraordinary finish to leg three up from St Gilles, when coming into the Bay of Dingle, 15 miles from the